Behind Twitter’s Plan To Get People To Stop Yelling At Each how to get rid of small acne scars Other

SAN FRANCISCO — in march, twitter cofounder biz stone tweeted a screenshot of an iphone how to get rid of small acne scars homescreen along with a message: “notice our new prototype? … it’s called ‘twttr.’ the bird flew away from the app icon representing: simplicity. Blue sky thinking. We’re re-working. Not there yet: hence, no logo.”

Twitter, predictably, immediately dysregulated in response. “most moronic design decision ever made.” “it’s horrible.” “ awful.” the most viral reply leaned on a popular twitter trope how to get rid of small acne scars to poke fun at the platform’s inability to ban bad actors: “everyone: get rid of the nazis. Yall: we got rid of the logo.”

And yet, it was all a misunderstanding. Twitter hadn’t changed its icon at all. It launched a separate app, “twttr,” as an external, public prototype to experiment with new features it’s considering rolling out on twitter itself; a way to test things in public. Stone clarified: “folks, the bird isn’t going away from twitter.”

The entire episode was a microcosm of twitter’s larger problems, some of which this new prototype itself is meant to how to get rid of small acne scars address: everyone yelling, and no one talking. “little t” twttr is a part of the company’s grand plan to treat the platform’s underlying issues, rather than just its symptoms. The idea is that what it learns from small-t twttr will help big twitter foster conversations, rather than outrage.

Thanks to its open, freewheeling public platform, and stance on free speech, twitter has been a hothouse for ginning up disinformation, harassment, and outrage. A lot of these problems were caused, the company’s leadership believes, by product decisions made early in its existence. And in very silicon valley fashion, the san francisco–based company is now trying to solve these institutional problems how to get rid of small acne scars with product fixes, without killing its platform’s open, real-time magic. But it isn’t exactly sure what those fixes are, and it knows that massive changes to its product, rolled out widely, might even make things worse. So, yes, the company is fundamentally overhauling its product, but it’s starting with baby steps on twttr.

Over several days this spring, buzzfeed news met with twitter’s leadership and watched as twttr’s team worked on its first big push: helping people better understand what’s being said in often chaotic conversations. The team thinks that if people took more time to how to get rid of small acne scars read entire conversations, that would help improve their comprehension of them. Maybe they wouldn’t jump to react. Maybe they’d consider their tone. Maybe they’d quit yelling all the time.

A couple of weeks after stone’s tweet, and after about 4,700 people had been using the new twttr prototype, twitter senior user researcher cody elam was at work, late, looking at a massive spreadsheet. He had spent the past week collecting and reviewing every how to get rid of small acne scars single piece of feedback — 600 tweets and 1,986 survey responses — from the program’s initial participants and, now, was tasked with identifying the most salient, important themes among their comments.

The twttr team began by testing what happens if the how to get rid of small acne scars app more clearly shows who’s replying to whom. They also hid likes and retweet counts — twitter’s primary incentives — behind a tap to put the primary focus on reply how to get rid of small acne scars text. Now they were about to see, for the first time, what people thought.

Some of that initial feedback said that the bubbly design how to get rid of small acne scars made twitter feel more like a chat, and that it was easier to understand who was responding how to get rid of small acne scars to what. Others were confused by the different colors labeling replies (blue for people you follow, and black for the original tweet’s author). People generally seemed to like the new design, elam deduced, except for one change that received a more mixed response: hiding the metrics.

A week later, at another feedback review session, elam told the group that a significant enough number of how to get rid of small acne scars testers in japan, twitter’s other major market outside the US, also opposed the hidden like and RT counts, but for a different reason. Japan-based user researcher kiyo yamamuchi explained that some japanese users how to get rid of small acne scars actively avoid engaging with popular replies to avoid exposure that how to get rid of small acne scars would attract attacks or abuse.

Jack dorsey, twitter’s CEO, has been outspoken about removing engagement metrics, because of how they encourage users to be outrageous in how to get rid of small acne scars order to rack up more likes, retweets, and followers, and prompt readers to look for them. In an august 2018 interview with the washington post, dorsey said, “the most important thing that we can do is we how to get rid of small acne scars look at the incentives that we’re building into our product. Because they do express a point of view of what how to get rid of small acne scars we want people to do — and I don’t think they are correct anymore.”

Haider and her twttr team are hoping to “nudge” people’s behavior in another way. Their hypothesis: making the design for replies as minimal as possible, in addition to revealing how the conversation’s participants are related to you, may encourage people to read the entire back-and-forth before they react.

“we have this opportunity to learn about how not having how to get rid of small acne scars [likes and retweets] could potentially change how people read things,” said senior product designer lisa ding. “does it make you read something that you maybe would how to get rid of small acne scars have guessed to be popular but actually isn’t that popular? How does that change the way you interact in a how to get rid of small acne scars conversation? That’s super interesting.”

In its early years twitter optimized for engagement, which engagement features (replies, and the like and retweet buttons) and metrics (number of followers, likes, retweets, and replies) help to deliver. So now it’s trying to shift what it encourages people to do.

“having conversations that anyone can see and anyone can participate how to get rid of small acne scars in is a really awesome super power that needs to how to get rid of small acne scars feel really simple despite its complexity behind the scenes,” twitter product lead and periscope cofounder kayvon beykpour told buzzfeed how to get rid of small acne scars news. "Like, imagine being in a room and talking to a billion how to get rid of small acne scars people. It’s chaos.“

To reduce the chaos, the twttr prototype is reimagining what twitter could look like. “what are the mechanics that we allow you to do how to get rid of small acne scars right at the surface versus one tap away? We are essentially rethinking paradigms that have been the case how to get rid of small acne scars for 13-plus years,” beykpour explained.

Much of twitter’s efforts related to abuse and harassment are incorporated directly how to get rid of small acne scars into the main twitter app, but some concepts in twttr’s pipeline are in service of something directly related to how to get rid of small acne scars harassment: trying to change the tone of replies. According to dorsey, replies are one of the shared spaces where abuse happens how to get rid of small acne scars the most on twitter. In a potential upcoming feature, if you tap on an avatar while you’re reading a reply, a profile card showing more information about the tweet’s author appears alongside their tweet.

Like a lot of people, tracy chou, the CEO of block party, a company working on solving abuse and harassment online, has herself been subject to much targeted harassment on twitter. “group direct messages are the new spam vector. One of the group threads in my dms looked like how to get rid of small acne scars it was a bunch of college students, white men, who seemed to know each other, and were talking about how easy it would be to how to get rid of small acne scars murder me,” chou told buzzfeed news.

If you have open direct messages, you can’t restrict specific accounts from sending you dms unless you how to get rid of small acne scars block them, which chou says, is an example of a feature designed to protect users how to get rid of small acne scars that doesn’t actually work in practice. “blocking is aggressive and visible to the other person. That sometimes will set them off and cause them to how to get rid of small acne scars harass you more, or use it as a trophy,” she said.

Chou also explained how retweeting and quote-tweeting are product features that can easily be turned into how to get rid of small acne scars tools of abuse — and counter-abuse: “if some asshole says something racist, sometimes I’ll quote-tweet them, and say “no.” my followers will fight my battle on my behalf. But [quote-tweeting] can also be used to target harassment by people who how to get rid of small acne scars have a lot of followers and want to sic their how to get rid of small acne scars followers on a specific individual.” in 2016, conservative writer milo yiannopoulos was banned for inciting his followers how to get rid of small acne scars to flood ghostbusters actor leslie jones’ twitter account with racist and demeaning mentions.

For users like chou, the twttr program hasn’t done much to improve their twitter experience so far. “I mainly find it harder to read replies,” chou said. She added that the user image and username size have how to get rid of small acne scars been minimized in the prototype, which isn’t helpful when trying to identify replies from known trolls. A twitter spokesperson said the twttr team is testing different how to get rid of small acne scars sizing and presentation for avatars and display names.

“everything these companies do, at first, is driven by the short-term desire to stake a small share of the attention how to get rid of small acne scars economy and to engage users just long enough to attract how to get rid of small acne scars early funding. Only later does the medium view start to matter, and the long view doesn’t matter at all until very late in the game,“ explained adam alter, author of irresistible, a book about the rise of addictive technology. “most of the changes twitter and other platforms are making how to get rid of small acne scars now are fairly small. They aren’t going to change usage patterns much — but they’re a step in the right direction.”

As someone who has used twttr for over two months, the new design does feel like a change for the how to get rid of small acne scars better. In replies, the eye-catching magenta “author” label makes it easy to scan for additional comments from how to get rid of small acne scars the tweeter. The “family tree” lines denoting different threads are useful. If there are two “debate me” trolls shouting at each other in one thread, you can easily scroll down, gloss over the entire back-and-forth, and jump into the next one. In a future iteration of twttr, you’ll even be able to collapse conversations more easily.

But the twttr effort isn’t just about improving the product experience. There’s a business motivation, too. Haider thinks that the final changes, if and when they are rolled out to the main how to get rid of small acne scars twitter app, will ultimately lead to more tweeting: “obviously with a better conversational experience, people will use [twitter] more and they’ll get more value out of it, which is what we’re trying to aim for.”

While twitter has been consistently profitable since early 2018, the company said in the first quarter of the year how to get rid of small acne scars that its number of monthly active users declined to around how to get rid of small acne scars 330 million, down 6 million from the same time last year, and said that it would stop reporting monthly active users how to get rid of small acne scars altogether. To keep users on the platform — and advertising revenue flowing — the company needs to figure out how to make its how to get rid of small acne scars service a nicer, better place for people to spend their time. In the most recent earnings call, dorsey called the ability to have conversations on twitter the how to get rid of small acne scars platform’s “differentiator” and cited the twttr prototype as progress.

As the internet’s free, most popular platforms — facebook, youtube, twitter — now know, people will use products in ways their inventors didn’t intend them to be used, and with software designed to “scale,” its downsides aren’t apparent until millions of people are using it. Twitter is now trying to undo the features that caused how to get rid of small acne scars unseen, unanticipated effects — misinformation, trolling, tribalized outrage — by going back to basics.

Whenever you’re in a room with a lot of people talking how to get rid of small acne scars at once, people raise their voices, so they can be heard. As more people arrive, it becomes cacophony. This is, essentially, what has happened on twitter: the volume of the conversation has been getting louder and how to get rid of small acne scars louder for 13 years. Beykpour and haider’s solution is toning down the background noise, and helping people focus on the conversation right in front how to get rid of small acne scars of them. But the longer a problem exists, the more intractable it becomes. Which means it is ultimately up to twitter’s hundreds of millions of users to decide whether it how to get rid of small acne scars is even possible to have a real conversation amid its how to get rid of small acne scars din, or if the only answer is to shout louder. ●

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